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The Wife of Bath - DOC


									                                       The Wife of Bath

           A good WIF was ther, OF biside                  There was a WIFE of BATH, or a
      BATHE,                                           near city,
      But she was somdel deef, and that was            Who was somewhat deaf, it is a pity.
      scathe.                                          At making clothes she had a skillful hand
      Of clooth-makyng she hadde swich an
450   She passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt. 450        She bettered those of Ypres and of Ghent.
      In al the parisshe wif ne was ther noon          In all the parish there was no wife to go
      That to the offrynge bifore hire sholde          And proceed her in offering, it is so;
      goon;                                            And if one did, indeed, so angry was she
      And if ther dide, certeyn so wrooth was          It put her out of all her charity.
      That she was out of alle charitee.
455   Hir coverchiefs ful fyne weren of ground; 455    Her head-dresses were of finest weave
      I dorste swere they weyeden ten pound            and ground;
      That on a Sonday weren upon hir heed.            I dare swear that they weighed about ten
      Hir hosen weren of fyn scarlet reed,             pound
      Ful streite yteyd, and shoes ful moyste          Which, on a Sunday, she wore on her
      and newe.                                        head.
                                                       Her stockings were of the finest scarlet
                                                       Tightly fastened, and her shoes were soft
                                                       and new.
460   Boold was hir face, and fair, and reed of 460    Bold was her face, and fair, and red of
      hewe.                                            hue.
      She was a worthy womman al hir lyve:             She'd been respectable throughout her life,
      Housbondes at chirche dore she hadde             Married in church, husbands she had five,
      fyve,                                            Not counting other company in youth;
      Withouthen oother compaignye in youthe,          But thereof there's no need to speak, in
      -                                                truth.
      But therof nedeth nat to speke as nowthe.
465   And thries hadde she been at Jerusalem; 465      Three times she'd travelled to Jerusalem;
      She hadde passed many a straunge strem;          And many a foreign stream she'd had to
      At Rome she hadde been, and at                   stem;
      Boloigne,                                        At Rome she'd been, and she'd been in
      In Galice at Seint-Jame, and at Coloigne.        Boulogne,
      She koude muchel of wandrynge by the             In Spain at Santiago, and at Cologne.
      weye.                                            She could tell much of wandering by the
470   Gat-tothed was she, soothly for to seye.   470   Gap-toothed was she, it is the truth I say.
      Upon an amblere esily she sat,                   Upon a pacing horse easily she sat,
      Ywympled wel, and on hir heed an hat             Wearing a large wimple, and over all a hat
      As brood as is a bokeler or a targe;             As broad as is a buckler or a targe;
      A foot-mantel aboute hir hipes large,            An overskirt was tucked around her
                                                       buttocks large,
475   And on hir feet a paire of spores sharpe. 475    And her feet spurred sharply under that.
      In felaweshipe wel koude she laughe and          In company well could she laugh and
      carpe.                                           chat.
Of remedies of love she knew per             The remedies of love she knew,
chaunce,                                     perchance,
For she koude of that art the olde daunce.   For of that art she'd learned the old, old

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